Kalamata olives are grown in Greece. They have a dark purple color and a soft texture. In most grocery stores, they are sold in jars packed in either brine or olive oil, and they come both whole and pitted. They taste excellent in this dish with rice!

Excerpted from The Everything® Mediterranean Instant Pot® Cookbook by Kelly Jaggers. Copyright © 2020 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.

Rice with Olives and Basil [Vegan]





  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup torn basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot and heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until well coated and starting to toast, about 3 minutes. Press the Cancel button.
  2. Stir in water. Close lid, set steam release to Sealing, press the Manual button, and set time to 22 minutes. When the timer beeps, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure until the float valve drops.
  3. Open lid and fluff rice with a fork. Fold in olives, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pepper. Serve warm.